I got this transcript from over here:
BECK CHAT TRANSCRIPT- TUESDAY JAN 25 2000 null asks: Hi Beck - Can you believe I've been listening to music longer than you've been alive, and you are the artist who has fired me up the MOST? Thank you for being inspiring and exciting. With all of the soul screaching you'll be doing on the upcoming tour...how are you gonna take care of your voice? Beck: Mmmm I don't know. Knock on wood, I've been lucky over the years. I've abused my voice over & over. As far as technique goes, I just get in there and let the adrenaline do all the work. Aphrodite asks: What is the music you listen to most these days????????? Beck: The most? Well, I'm always listening to different things, you know. There are few albums that I listen to over and over. Right now, let me see, I was listening to an old Sebadoh album I haven't heard for years. King Dubby, Pharoah Sanders, they're just great. And I've got some Tibetan bells, but my favorite thing to listen to is my sound machine. I have a machine that makes ocean sounds, screaming monkeys, a tropical cruise. Tropical cruise is good. When I'm -- When I feel like visualizing global peace, I press the rainforest button. It's been pretty peaceful here in Texas. TimReed asks: Beck, any chance for a Live Album (we really expected the video to be out by now), and if not, is there a possibility for another live show like the El Rey show back in 97? The set that night was just incredible. Beck: Oh, yeah. Cool! No plans for a live record. Our live sounds are so complex. I think it's hard to translate. I think it would be hard to reproduce the live ambience in a studio, on tape. And I just say that because most of the live tapes I've heard were hideous. Most of the bootlegs were mediocre. The two things are so different that a live record, well, it would be hard not to sound like a training record. On our stage, we have like 78 inputs -- more inputs than an orchestra -- towers of keyboards -- everyone has a mike - meanwhile, there are 11 of us on the stage. But I do know that people who hear the music live have a different sense of it than they have when they hear the album. So maybe a live album would be helpful. Klaystation asks: How have you approached adapting this new album for the stage? Beck: Well, I wrote it for the stage, you know. I wrote the whole thing, top to bottom, with the band and performing in mind. But when you're writing an album, you'll eventually be 2 years behind. It's two years from the time I started recording to today, when I begin touring. I'm going back to the space I was in two years ago. And since then my thinking has changed. I'm probably in a different scene now, and I have to go back. You have to get into the mode you were in two years ago. Definitely you tap into it. purplevelcrow asks: Both your work and your grandfather's work has inspired me massively in my writing and art. I have often heard your music compared to Fluxus art in that it takes some of everything or nothing and blends it together to make something beautiful. Do you feel that is true? YOU ARE MY HERO BECK! KEEP ON ROCKIN AND THANK YOU FOR CHATTING WITH THE PEOPLE. Beck: Yeah, I don't base my songwriting on harmony in the traditional sense. Creating a recording, I do approach it as a process, probably similar to creating a piece of art. I'm not concerned with getting a proper drum sound. I'm not. I'm more concerned with creating something with the right character, that represents what's going on at the time. Fluxus reflects how we exist, and that's a different thing than making music. Moderator: I love your horn arrangements on Midnight Vultures. Are you a fan of the Memphis Horns, Staxx/Volt, etc. and did those sides influence your work? Beck: I think my main interest in using the horns was for performance - so much music today is so guitar heavy. I sought other places to get muscle into the music. Many bands rely heavily on guitar to pump up the sound, but I thought it would be interesting to make the horns into the guitars. I thought it was interesting performing in front of the horns. Makes you want to run for your life and do 300 pushups. There's something about the overtones--the sax and trumpet-they're really still a novelty for me. They've been in the band for about 3 years now. For this tour, we went back through all the Odelay material and rewrote the horn arrangements. The Midnite Vulture sound has already existed now for about 3 years, if you count the Odelay material. dave walters asks: While most critical comments about Midnite Vultures have concerned the soul/r&b influences, I hear a lot of Captain Beefheart, especially on Hold On and Peaches and Cream. I was curious if this was a conscious type of thing or something that just came out? Are you familiar with Beefheart? Beck: Yeah Beck: But can you hang on a second? I have to answer the telephone. Beck: Yeah, Capt. Beefheart. I'm familiar with it. It was something I heard when I was 23-24, later in life, after I'd already been performing a while, and I was already so immersed in blues, and free form poetry and a lot of the same elements that make up his music, so hearing him was eerie, you know. I felt like somebody had already done what I was trying to do. It felt like I had discovered some island, and he had been living there for 500 years. He's one of my favorites. I'm also surprised that there's been such an emphasis on Prince in all the reviews, but more of this albums flavor comes from Beefheart. He was definitely an influence on some of these songs. But he has such a grisly presence, and I thought it would be interesting to make some music in his realm, but my singing is totally lightweight. But as a musician, you get to create your own musical fantasy. riddimon asks: Which aspect of the over all recording process is the least important to you? Beck: The least important part of recording-it's all important. Programming tends to be quite time consuming, you know. You sample different beats and drum sounds, put them together, move them micro-tics to get just the right feel. I tend not to program beats on a grid, so I work for days with my engineer, and we go into each sound to create fades that sound right, and aren't popping. Much computer-based music is tedious to make. Playing live is my favorite-with other musicians. But much of what I'm trying to achieve in recording involves tedious tweaking. On this album, we spent 15-16 hour days, which is a long time to sit in a room with a board and a computer and 2-3 persons. We go 6-7 days a week, and this was labor intensive. Whatever process, or sound that we used in Odelay is being used by others in their albums now. I owed it to myself to use this time well and do something different. To explore whatever else in that realm is possible. There is a definite process to create the beat, to create samples. I asked myself, how could we do something virtuoso with this technology, that takes it to a more musical place? Neon Spatula asks: Is there a particular book or author that has been particularly inspiring in your songwriting Beck: My songwriting?? Yeah. Well, you know, I read Kerouac as a kid - and the other Beat writers. I'm - not really conscious of how much they inspired me. I didn't lift their writing. I'm conscious of being amazed by them, but I'm really trying to mind my own territory here. We have to do that instead of relying on others-find your own imagery and topics. So I've sought my own voice through my writing, my own likes & dislikes. Right now I'm reading -- I've been reading a Martin Amis book. He's great. One of those people who, you know, who deserves to be cynical and dark, you know. Many don't deserve to be that cynical, but he's earned it-his writing is that good. I'm not generally cynical. With the way it is, the state of the culture as it is, I'm always trying to put something positive out there. tark asks: What do you think of other artists sampling your music? Beck: Other artists? Well, Oh, it's weird because sampling has reached such a perverted state at this point. To sample something you're going to give away most of your song. To put a sample out, you give away 50% of your song, and have to pay 5-50K to pay to do so. It's really out of hand. Gouging the artist. I think it' s really - there are so many possible things to sample-the I Ching, John Cage. You never know in pop music, since so much pop is formulaic. Sampling could get in there and be a random element. It's exciting to me, but it's become quite elitist and difficult. Also, many have used it as a crutch, and not everyone is creative with sampling. But for example Posse, they took Jack-Ass top to bottom, took the arrangement apart, and the keyboard sample is the intro to a Van Morrison song, the cover of a Dylan song. Dylan took the rights to the song, but I would say, the keyboard player wrote that part. He deserves the props. But Posse did a cover of MY song, and it all went to Dylan. It's such a backward system. It's already a legal miasma. I'm all for regenerating, recycling, you know. I'm all into the idea of making something beautiful out of bad music. miss_liz asks: I heard you finished up work for Recycler. Do you think you'll work more with movies by way of soundtracks and perhaps directing (as you do the videos)? Beck: Yeah, I love directing videos. I have had real actors in the videos, and I like working with the actors, but I just took it up from necessity. I wanted the video to be my way, so I wanted to direct it myself. I have no ambitions outside music. Or few of them. Who knows? I want to do music for a movie at some point, but the right movie. I love Paul Thomas Anderson. Thankfully, we have a couple of filmmakers like that-totally original and unique. I get offered things like an Austin Powers or Adam Sandler movie, but I'd like to be in a Lars von Triers movie. It would never come my way. I love movies. They're more influential in my music than other music is-Fellini, for example, has influenced me more than any other musician I can think of. 88ricebowl asks: Why did you choose to include Debra in this album? You've been playing it live for years. Beck: Debra? I think because it had become such a big part of our set, and originally I had planned to make it a B side, or add it to a movie, but it didn't fit any of the movies. But Midnite Vultures started to turn into an R&B soul album, so I recorded it. My girlfriend hates that song. But I enjoy performing the music. Most of my songs I sing in a lower register, but it's hard to be emotive with a song like Jack-Ass. I envy other singers who just wail and let go. Debra's one of the few songs where I can do that. I wouldn't likely listen to that kind of song, I'd skip over it. A year from now, the song wouldn't have been included in the album jennyw221 asks: You mentioned John Cage-do you have any other classical music influences? Beck: John Cage? Other musical influences? Yeah! There's a composer named Webern, and he wrote string quartets. I was heavily into them when I was younger. The quartet has really short movements, like weird little nuggets of music, these little capsules of musical moments. Right now, I'm listening to Glenn Gould doing the Goldberg Variations, the 1st version, which I like because it's unkempt. I like finding classical music that is inappropriately rendered, but it's hard to find. That music has become so refined, and it's supposed to be primal. If we HAD Beethoven or Liszt recordings, we'd be blown away with how ragged they are. Their compositions were often just blueprints. j-bird asks: Do you enjoy free jazz? Ornette Coleman, etc... I see you as a jazz artist-does old jazz influence you? Beck: Free jazz? I love Ornette, Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra. They're all part of my world. Many of the people I've played with are from that jazz background - my old drummers are jazz people, and the horn player is a straight up jazz man. limebeck asks: You didn't continue schooling, what do you think would have happened if you did? How would Beck be different? Beck: Had I continued my musical schooling, I still don't know how Beck would have been different, but I would have been better read. I don't know. It's so hard to tell. I would have loved to go to college, but...My brother got to go to college. Probably I would have been entering the music arena quite differently, from a different place, and doing something more musically serious. When I was young, 20-21, I got into the music business, and I began playing music professionally much younger than I would had I gone to college to study music. MAXFISCHER asks: Do you prefer going into the studio with a set goal to record this many songs in this amount of time, or do you like to let the records evolve into their own things? Beck: I hve no choice. They just evolved. Mutations was the 1st time I went in with 11 songs. The lyrics were all done. That was the least stressful recording experience I've ever had. But that kind of stress gives me a new kind of energy. You're not going to get certain kinds of spontaneity and randomness without it. I like being surprised when I go in - it's just how I've been doing things for a long time. I'd love to go into the recording studio with music already written and orchestrated. Hutch asks: How do you create thoughtful music that is commercially accessible? Beck: Thoughtful music that's commercially accessible? It has always for me been an afterthought. I did what I wanted and other people latched onto it. But in the past few years I found myself going off in my own direction more and more, but I now have to work more in a live show or interview to just explain where the music's coming from, which is often a specific place. If people don't get what you're doing or aren't into it, it's often because they lack a reference point, or haven't heard it before. So I get out, play a show, and project the energy. Hopefully they see what's good about it and where you're trying to go with it. It's not commercial music, but yeah, I guess it's accessible. For me and my music friends, in MY bubble, I might as well be playing Garth Brooks. But to someone who is uninitiated or who buys few records, it sounds busy and complicated. So I don't know. I don't know if it's commercial -- to one person it's commercial and lightweight, and to someone else it's completely abrasive and offensive. I think that it's a difficult thing to balance. Moderator: Unfortunately, Beck has to head off to the stage in Austin. Thanks very much for joining us tonight. And thanks to Beck, of course. We'll leave the room open for a while. Beck: Thank you. Good-bye. Moderator: Thanks again to all of you -- great questions!